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GUEST COLUMN: Trump at 100 days

By: Dustin Olson
April 30, 2017 Updated: April 30, 2017 at 4:05 am
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President Donald Trump just hit the fabled 100-day mark - an arbitrary milestone usually forgotten by Day 101. Still, having been there on Day 1 when our team helped produce the 58th presidential inauguration, I thought I'd share my observations on where it stands at Day 100.

Most pundits rank the president's performance with a partisan scorecard. Republicans cheer. Democrats boo. Rather than rehash highs and lows, let me call your attention to several points you may not have considered.

Something remarkable is happening in Washington. For the first time in a long while, we have a president bringing us - everyday Americans living outside the D.C. bubble - into his presidency. His early-morning Tweets short-circuit news media elites and his frequent, authentic and freewheeling press events pull back the curtain and allow him to talk directly to we, the people. Whether you like or dislike what he says, he gives you a front row seat to the show. We haven't witnessed a presidential appeal made so directly to the people since Ronald Reagan's brilliant use of the media or Franklin Roosevelt's radio "fireside chats."

Most Americans are responding to this openness by giving the new administration a chance. Set aside the die-hard Trump supporters, who find little fault in anything he does, and the equally die-hard Trump opponents, who cannot see any good. The rest of the population are keeping an open mind and are willing to give him time.

My travels since Trump began this journey have taken me to the Northeast, South, Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. Listening to people there has convinced me folks believe Trump is trying to accomplish something big and bold, something that, if successful, could actually make America great again. They appreciate him swinging for the fences. They realize time will tell if he can accomplish it, and have more patience watching his efforts unfold than Washington pundits.

In the partisan camp, Trump's supporters remain solidly with him. A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken April 17-20 found 96 percent of Trump voters do not regret their vote and if all voters could have a do-over, 43 percent stick with Trump, 40 percent with Clinton. That's remarkably firm support. The self-proclaimed "resistance" would do well to recognize the country isn't in a resisting mood. The more they agitate and foam at the mouth, the more they alienate the very people whose support they want.

As we move from Day 100 to Day 101, the challenge is for everyone - President Trump, Congress, leaders in both parties - to dig deep and achieve what really matters. Americans are rapidly becoming less tolerant of dysfunction. They've had enough of a political process that resembles more of an old Western movie shootout than the great Republic envisioned by our founders.

They realize this is the moment when we must work together to make things happen for the good of our country.

In the first 100 days the rose-colored glasses of the campaign come off. The new president's eyes opened to new realities. What was promised may no longer be practical. But it is this very "rubber meets the road" period when greatness can be formed. Like his friend Tom Brady's Super Bowl win, one thing is very clear about how President Trump sees reality: past is never prologue. He lives in the moment and deals with what needs to be done now. The key is that he continues to communicate with the American people when he sees a new course of action and explains why he is choosing that path.

Finally, we should remember the words of President Kennedy's inaugural address. After laying out his New Frontier agenda, he added this note of caution: "All this will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin."

That is what President Trump has offered America in his first 100 days: a beginning. And I, like millions of others, can't wait to see how the story turns out.

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Dustin Olson is founder and managing partner of Colorado and Ohio-based political consulting firm Olson Strategies & Advertising. OSA helped create the program and production for Donald Trump's national convention and the 58th presidential Inauguration.

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